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Milford, Connecticut – As construction budgets have blown up the past year and half we are releasing details on a new cost modeling and value-engineering investigatory report performed by AGGRECOST™ . The modeled construction project was a affordable multi-family housing project commissioned by CHFA (Connecticut Housing Finance Authority) located in East Lyme, Connecticut.
The 56 Unit side by side town house project is a PHIUS certified project. The Passive House certified project’s slab, foundations, footings and exterior walls required significant rigid insulation. Under slab rigid insulation averaged 4-8”, per the current engineering details depending on the building unit cluster.
One of the products researched for improvements to the design was Ultra-Lightweight Foamed Glass Aggregates made entirely of post-consumer recycled glass, making it extremely lightweight. The product has a high frictional surface, low unit weight, inertness, high permeability, and insulation qualities. An R-Value of upto 2.1
AGGRECOST™ has been familiar with the foamed glass aggregate as it is an excellent choice for use in lightweight backfill in mission critical engineering projects.
AGGRECOST™ in a move to substitute traditional means and methods and in a push to bring it to normality commissioned the research into a more sustainable, green, and environmental model for construction processes including value engineering across a multitude of large scale multi-family home developments where PHIUS, Passive House or Energy-star certifications must be achieved.
AGGRECOST™ also found that large scale slab required projects such as Amazon warehouse distribution facilities, Tesla Factories, or Facebook, Google and other tech related data-centers requiring energy efficiency while lower operating costs can also shave months off construction times and resources while heavily reducing the carbon footprint of the construction project.
AGGRECOST™ worked through several variables of PHIUS® energy modeling requirements and was able to improve the overall fluency of constructibility while dramatically improving the projects overall design, costs, control, and completions times.
EXTERIOR & ROOF CONSTRUCTION ASSEMBLY
The original design consisted of:
James Hardie® HardiePlank® fiber cement lap siding, 1” fur strips, 5” attached rigid foam insulation, fluid-applied vapor barrier, 7” Fastening hardware, 1/2” OSB, 2×6 wall with blown in cellulose insulation. The projects roof required R-70 blown in cellulose.
AGGRECOST™ ‘s alternative design consisted of increasing the projects roof insulation from R-70 to R-90 utilizing much less labor and costs in comparison to rigid insulation while eliminating substantial heat loss from the roof.
AGGRECOST™ then specified traditional high performance Mathews Brothers windows with a slightly different SHGC rating then the specified range to reduce insulation requirements on the exterior walls.
The exterior rigid insulation, spray-on fluid applied vapor barrier, mounting hardware, fur strips and OSB were redesigned with only one step using Huber’s 2” R-Board Insulated Sheathing with a built in vapor barrier. AGGRECOST has completed trials with proven documented results of Huber’s R-Board since 2013 on over 2000 PHIUS Certified Multi-family units and mixed-use projects designed into clusters, garden, low and mid-rise developments. Other products are now commercially available for fire treated versions for use in certain applications.
SLAB & FOUNDATIONS CONSTRUCTION ASSEMBLY
For the projects slabs and foundations the original under slab rigid insulation required ranged from 5-8” and 4″ of high psi rigid insulation beneath footings and stem walls. Aero Aggregates was proposed to replace all underslab and footing insulation’s as well as utilizing a monolithic poured concrete FPSF (Frost Protected Shallow Foundation) in lieu of stem walls and footings. Helix Micro-Bar was proposed in the slab to eliminate rebar and wire mesh.
By using all these alternative methods and assemblies they are able to reduce overall construction time by 4 Months on a 16 month construction schedule. Cost savings of over $500,000.00, greatly reduced concrete quantities, elimination of steel rebar, elimination of footings and foundations.
Also eliminated is all virgin aggregate in lieu of 100% recycled Ultra-Lightweight Foamed Glass Aggregates. Foamed Glass Aggregates also have a tremendously lower carbon footprint on a project. The product is delivered via 100 cubic yard walking floor tractor trailers compared to that of a dump truck only capable of hauling 16-18 cubic yards of virgin or recycled aggregates. The product also does not require compaction.
The project reduces thousands of cubic yards in excavations, backfill and compactions, raw materials and hundreds of loads of material deliveries. Special Testing, inspections, surveying, field layouts, documentation, and project control schedules and scopes of work are greatly reduced as well as creating a newly continuous seamless un-obstructed constructibility while reducing thousands of man hours.
FOAMED GLASS AGGREGATES
Glavel’s foam glass gravel, has been said to be the building material of the future. With its lightweight and versatile properties, foam glass has the capability of being successfully used on construction projects.
The production of foam glass gravel is initiated with the blending of glass powder and a foaming agent. Once the mixture is complete, it is placed on a belt and taken to the furnace where the maximum temperature of 1600 degrees Fahrenheit is reached. With the steady increase in heat, the glass softens and the foaming agent generates gas which expands and forms bubbles.
After the foaming process is satisfied, the glass is cooled. The resulting solidified product is four times thicker than the original powder layer. Occasional cracking is the result of thermal stress manifested by cooling.
Generating foam glass gravel is a low carbon emitting procedure. In addition to being easily installable, foam glass is incredibly cost effective and has a reputable performance report.
Glavel has disclosed that foam glass gravel is heavily utilized in residential and commercial sub slab insulation, green roof fill, and civil structural fill. Considering that these jobs often require lightweight backfill or load reduction to decrease the carbon footprint, foam glass serves as a desirable material candidate due to its weight of 9.8 pounds per cubic foot and thermal insulation of R1.7-2.1 per inch.
Performing as a sub slab insulator, foam glass is water resistant, fireproof, pest and rot proof, and frost resistant. It is able to replace rigid foam board insulation and aggregate.
Foam glass aids green roof fill by playing the role of a drainage layer. With its lightweight features, weight stress is reduced on building structures. The closed cell structure of the material prevents structural strain by ensuring that moisture is not absorbed.
Foam glass can additionally act as both a drainage layer and thermal insulator. These unique characteristics have allowed foam glass to stabilize earth walls, do lightweight fills and roadways, and retain walls.
Glavel will be opening its first manufacturing facility, Saxon Hill plant, in November 2021. Contractors, architects, specifiers, installers, and engineers are being welcomed in for a first look of the new building. Daily sessions from September 13th through the 17th from 8am to 3pm will be held for spectators to interact with Glavel’s foam glass gravel.
Aero Aggregates of North America is a vertically integrated manufacturer of ultra-lightweight closed cell foamed glass aggregate (“FGA”) for usage in the construction and geo-technical engineering industries. Its products, which are made entirely of recycled curbside glass, provide a low-cost and environmentally friendly option for lightweight construction in an era marked by increasingly demanding design and constructability standards, according to the company.
Construction on soft soils, lateral load reduction for retaining walls and structures, insulating subgrade and backfill, and the protection of subterranean utilities are just a few of the civil engineering difficulties Aero Aggregates solves.
Providing an ultra lightweight material that is insulating, free draining, nonabsorbent, noncombustible, and resistant to chemicals, rot, and acid is how Aero’s solutions address these difficulties and others.
Aero has closed on a $24 million growth equity investment from New York-based private equity company Valterra Partners LLC (“Valterra”). The revenues of the sale will be utilized to expand the Company’s existing plant in Eddystone, Pennsylvania, as well as to support the building of two other sites in New England and the Southeast.
Aero, headquartered in Eddystone, Pennsylvania, is the only vertically integrated manufacturer of ultra lightweight, closed cell FGA in North America. Aero’s products are made entirely of recycled curbside glass, with each kiln diverting over 140 million bottles from waste each year.
Aero was founded in 2012 by CEO Archie Filshill, Ph.D. Aero is a prominent supplier of ultralight material to some of the country’s largest contractors and engineering organizations.
Aero has been certified by the Federal Highway Administration and multiple state departments of transportation following years of rigorous testing and successful projects on a local, state, and federal level.
HELIX MICRO BAR
Helix Steel was first developed as part of a research effort at the University of Michigan, in which engineers were challenged to design a reinforcement technique that could deliver concrete buildings with quantifiably greater resilience, ductility, and elastic properties.
Helix Steel officially entered the market in 2003 after years of testing the Micro Rebar® reinforcement technology in a variety of applications and rigorous test-case scenarios.
The Helix Steel Corporation is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and it manufactures and distributes Twisted Steel Micro Rebar® (Helix® Micro Rebar®) reinforcement all over the world.
Helix Steel was founded by Luke Pinkerton, PE (ME), who serves as its president, chief technology officer, and founder.
A bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from Hope College, a master’s degree in structural engineering from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from the Georgia Institute of Technology round out his educational background.
Pinkerton serves as Chair of the direct tension task group of ASTM Committee C09, as Secretary of ACI 380 (structural plain concrete), as consulting member of ACI 332 (residential construction), and as an associate member of the ACI 544 (fiber reinforced concrete), the ACI 551 (tilt-up panels), and the ACI 564 (structural plain concrete) (3D printing).
Since 2002, he has used alternative flexural strength performance-based design methodologies in thousands of structures as part of his professional practice.
In recognition of his contributions to this field, he received the Robert Aiken Award for Innovation from the Tilt Up Concrete Association in 2018.
The CEO and Company demonstrate leadership within the concrete industry as well as to the progress of discontinuous reinforcement technology in its various applications. The product has great benefits when used in conjunction with Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) construction.